As I mentioned last month there's a lot going on in the Twin Cities movie scene these days. Mini-festivals and series and preview screenings - it's been one of the busiest spring movie seasons here in years, and we're not close to done yet (check the sidebar for a look ahead).
Several additional events have been confirmed since I wrote that post, one of which is the inaugural Beyond Borders Film Festival (BBFF), taking place from Wednesday, March 25th, to Sunday, March 29th, at the The Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis (48th & Chicago, adjacent to Pepito's). Here's the low-down (down low?) on this new festival, from its website:
"The Beyond Borders Film Festival, presented by the non-profit Rimé Foundation, uses film and cultural performances to educate the general population about our world’s rich cultural diversity, to inspire others to get involved in cross-cultural exchanges, and to promote awareness about important social and cultural organizations operating in the areas where the festival is held. [Hmm, do you think that's up my alley?]
As such, the Beyond Borders Film Festival showcases films and cultural performances that uplift the human spirit, and demonstrate respect and wonder for human creativity and the natural environment. Exploring the ties that bind all people together, the festival addresses the spiritual and cultural impulses that accompany the human condition, as well as the many ways we express these impulses."
And the icing on the cake, as Colin Covert noted in his feature on the BBFF in Sunday''s Strib, is that "As a nonprofit enterprise, the film series will donate its income to Twin Cities social service organizations."
I first heard about the BBFF in early December from Jim Brunzell, formerly of Minnesota Film Arts and now all-around freelance Twin Cities movie guru. He covered Sundance in January for the TC Daily Planet, co-hosts KFAI's weekly "Movie Talk", and was tapped as a programmer for the BBFF due to his festival know-how and years of hard work in helping Al Milgrom with MSPIFF (which is coming up in just over three short weeks, by the way).
I was going to put out some questions to Jim about the BBFF and post his answers here, but he beat me to it (not surprisingly as I've been behind on everything for the last three months) in a post on MnDialog last week. In it, Jim explains how he became involved with the BBFF, how and why he chose the films that will be screening, and which ones in particular you get excited about.
Also, to hear more about how the festival came together, take a listen to a just-posted interview with Jim and co-director of the BBFF, Jennifer Manion, on Movie Natters, the MPR movie blog dutifully maintained by Euan Kerr.
Must-sees on my personal list are:
- Sita Sings the Blues (which I remember the reliable Marilyn Ferdinand praising last fall)
- Revanche (Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, from Austria)
- Art & Copy (documentary on advertising from Doug Pray, director of last year's brilliant Surfwise)
- Sugar (from the team behind Half Nelson, and one I've been anxiously awaiting for well over a year)
I've also been wanting to see Older than America (starring Adam Beach and hesitantly recommended by Matt Gamble) for the last year, but unfortunately I'm on tap to see "Rent" at the Orpheum on Thursday night so I'll miss it again. The good news is that I'm going to be volunteering at BBFF on Saturday night and all day Sunday, so I'll see all those from my list plus the recommended Big Man Japan, as well as a handful of others.
Find the full schedule and quite a bit more on the BBFF website.
But to make it easier I've just copied the whole thing below, and I'll also urge you to take advantage of the brilliant arrangement the BBFF developed with Victor's 1959 Cafe. And if you're not up for that (though I don't know why you wouldn't be), there's always Pepito's literally right next door to the Parkway, and as far as I know you'll still be allowed to bring all kinds of food and drink from Pepito's right into the theater, where, if you're really lucky and really early, you'll score a seat on one of the plush leather couches.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Native Voices Program
Opening night kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with world champion northern style drumming group Midnite Express, followed by a talk by Winona LaDuke, environmental activist, author, Green Party vice-presidential candidate (1996 and 2000), and founding director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.
The presence of Midnite Express and Winona LaDuke is sponsored by Larry Levanthal.
Film screenings for opening night, which begins at 6:30 p.m., include:
Native Nations: Standing Together for Civil Rights, introduced by Minnesotan social activist and filmmaker Sydney Beane
Buy tickets for opening night now!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Native Voices Program: Native American Women Filmmakers Night
Augmenting this evening’s film screenings, Mohawk director Tracey Deer, Minnesotan filmmaker Missy Whiteman, and Older Than America director Georgina Lightning will speak about their work in a panel moderated by Augsburg College professor Elise Marubbio.
5:00 p.m.: Mohawk Girls
6:20 p.m.: shorts by Missy Whiteman, Club Native, Native American women filmmakers panel discussion with Tracey Deer, Missy Whiteman, Georgina Lightning, moderated by Professor Elise Marubbio (Augsburg College, Department of American Indian Studies). Buy tickets now!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Buddhist Wisdom Program
This evening’s program explores the intersection of ancient Tibetan Buddhist wisdom and the modern world through the eyes of three documentary filmmakers.
5:30 p.m: Daughters of Wisdom
Late Night Friday, March 27, 2009
Bill Plympton Spotlight
Two new films from the incomparable Bill Plympton.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Children’s Animation/Imagination Program
A morning of three delightful animated shorts to ignite the imagination of children large and small.
Saturday, March 28, 2009 & Sunday, March 29, 2009
New U.S. Indies and World Cinema Program
Saturday’s and Sunday’s offerings are from among the newest and hottest films on the national and international film festival circuits.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
1:00 p.m.: Tricks
3:00 p.m.: Beautiful Losers
5:00 p.m.: Kisses
Sunday, March 29, 2009
11:00 a.m.: The Unwinking Gaze
1:00 p.m.: Worlds Apart
3:00 p.m.: Art & Copy
5:00 p.m.: Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love
Opening night: $15 at the door; $12 special on-line purchase; $10 at the door for students and seniors
General admission: $9 at the door; $7 at the door for students and seniors; $8 on-line for screenings after 6:00 pm
Children’s Animation/Imagination Program: $5 for everyone
Bill Plympton Spotlight: $7 for everyone; on-line purchase available
Midnight Madness/Big Man Japan: $7 for everyone; on-line purchase available
All-access pass: $75 (includes opening and closing nights); on-line purchase available
5-screening pass: $30 (doesn’t include opening and closing nights); on-line purchase available
Closing night: $15 at the door; $12 special on-line purchase; $10 at the door for students and seniors
* Tickets for all screenings that start after 6:00 p.m. are available for purchase on-line starting Wednesday, March 11. All-access and 5-screening passes area also available for purchase on-line.